As I sit here happily trapped indoors by wave after wave of rain coming in from the Gulf, I wish to thank my urban farming friend Pat Lawhead for giving me a couple days ago nearly 1 pound each of seeds of 'Bonar Rape' and 'Dwarf Essex Rape' to share with friends and to give to my students. My Dad and I have been talking casually about my making my own hot water for dishes and the washing machine, and a black rain barrel that Pat also gave me will the catalyst for a first effort. I have lots of mirror and foil, and will try building some kind of reflectors behind and beside it to see how hot I can get the water. I LOVE the idea of pouring a 7 gallon swimming pool tablets bucket of solar heated water into my washing machine as it fills, or bringing in two gallons to wash the dishes with. Thanks Pat!
Forecasts call for 80-90% chance of rain today.....I'd love it if it rained all day as I just sowed a lot of 'Dwarf Essex Rape' seeds into the now closed up baby chicken (formerly quail) pen to grow as a poultry pasture, and today flung a few handfuls of 'Barnapoli Rape' seeds into the ducks' main area they are now excluded from as they de-weed an adjoining area, now that they've rendered it weed-free and super fertile. In a month I can harvest leaves for my use and to sell for salads, and periodically let the birds in to feast for their best health and pleasure.
Ah how wonderful to hear rain on my roof and thunder out over the Gulf! John
p.s. enjoy the video of the innaugural launch of Pat's incredible hand built canoe.